“I Would Like To Know The Answer” – Guardiola Slams Decision Made For Chelsea Cup Tie

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he is unhappy with the FA’s decision to play the FA Cup semi-final versus Chelsea on a Saturday instead of a Sunday.

It means that the Cityzens will have one less day to recover from their Champions League quarter-final second leg against Real Madrid, with the game taking place at the Etihad on the preceding Wednesday:

“I would like to know the answer about why we play in the FA Cup all the time on Saturday and not on Sunday. One day is a lot of difference at this stage with injured players and the accumulation of games.”

Guardiola also expressed unhappiness with the fact that Real Madrid will have nine days to prepare for the first leg at the Bernabeu, while City have to play three games in the intervening period.

City’s treble hopes could be extinguished due to an impossible schedule

The Premier League champions will have to play seven games over the next 21 days (starting with Arsenal). There is next to no rest between now and the Chelsea match at Wembley on April 20th.

Unfortunately, due to City still being in three separate competitions, the lack of downtime is unavoidable. The Premier League could have potentially pushed the midweek fixture against Aston Villa to a date in May but that’s probably all they could have done to help Guardiola’s team.

Injuries could mount up

Playing so often also raises the spectre of injuries. City already have Kyle Walker and John Stones on the treatment table, while the likes of Ederson, Kevin De Bruyne, Manuel Akanji and Matheus Nunes have only recently returned to training.

The lack of rest will inevitably cause fatigue and an increased risk of muscular injuries. If that happens, Guardiola will have to rely on a smaller squad, which means more minutes being shared around, and a greater likelihood of even more fitness problems.

David Tully

David Tully

David has worked as a football reporter for the last fifteen years. Having started as an intern at Snack Media, he then went on to become a freelancer, working on various different sites. At the start of 2023, he took up his current role as content writer for National World's Football News Network.